Circulation Policy

Law Library materials may be used by the public within the library. Members of the Cornell community with appropriate authentication and persons with a current Cornell University Borrower's Card have check-out privileges. Items are loaned to faculty and staff for one year periods. Items are loaned to students for six month periods. Borrower's Cards are available from Olin Library. Materials lent on a Borrower's Card are subject to immediate recall if needed by a Cornell user. See here for a full chart of our circulation loan periods.


The Cornell Law Library has an open-stacks arrangement. Bring items you want to take out of the library to the Circulation Desk to be checked out. To return a book during library hours, place it in the book drop at the Circulation Desk. After the library has closed, use the book return in the Hughes arcade next to the parking lot at the back of the building.


If you are unable to locate a book in the stacks, check the online catalog to see whether the book has already been charged out. Items can be recalled after the initial reader has had them two weeks, although special programs or reserves may warrant recall before then. Requests for recall of materials are handled at the Circulation Desk.


Retrieval of materials such as unbound journals, items in use in the building, and special collections is done at intervals during the hours the Circulation Desk is open. Every effort is made to retrieve materials as they are requested.


You can renew books, recall books, use Borrow Direct, request an interlibrary loan, or request library-to-library book delivery through the Cornell University Library catalog. See Cornell University Library's Borrowing and Delivery page for more information.  For assistance making these requests at the Law Library, inquire at the Circulation or Reference Desk. Please note that the Law Library is not included in the Ithaca College & Cornell borrowing program.


Fines are charged for overdue materials. Materials borrowed overnight must be returned by TWO HOURS AFTER THE LIBRARY OPENS the following day.  Charges for lost books include the replacement cost and a fee to cover part of the processing cost.


Lockers in the library can be used to store library materials checked out to a law student that are to remain in the building, such as bound journals, Congressional hearings, and current looseleaf services shelved in the stacks. These materials are subject to retrieval if another library user requests them.


Advance Sign-up for Reserve materials may be made the same day you wish to use the materials. Reserve items may not be renewed or reserved by telephone; you may renew reserve materials in person if no one else has requested the material. The Reserve Collection is located at the Circulation Desk.


Interlibrary loan requests are processed at the Law Library only for the Law School community. Olin Library provides this service for the rest of the Cornell community.All requests are made online, and please check this page for more information about how to make said requests. If you have additional questions please visit the Circulation or Reference Desks for assistance.